It’s been a feast or famine week on the fishing front. Some anglers have done very well, but on the other hand there has been some scoreless outings for others. Offshore has continued to fish well and the estuaries are beginning to clear up after the spring downpours.
Saltwater: our tuna that we have been waiting for have finally turned up in great numbers closer to home. This past week has seen tuna caught at Killarney in 25m of water which is a great sign for those wanting to sneak out after work, without having to drive to Portland. Tommy Powell fished with his uncle Sam and Dicky off Port Fairy where they caught multiple tuna to 19kg on a range of skirts and divers. Trolling small skirts this time of year is a great way to entice a bite off these fussy fish. Dropping leader size is also a great way to trick these otherwise smart fish. 60lb is the go to for this class of fish and will handle the slightly bigger fish too if you come across them. The hot product in leaders has been the new Nomad Tackle Hybrid leader which is a mono leader that has a fluorocarbon coating on it, giving it the softness of a standard leader but the abrasion resistance of the fluorocarbon leaders. In other offshore reports, the shark fishing has continued to produce, both on the top and the bottom of the water column. There has been some small thresher sharks caught on the inshore grounds by unsuspecting anglers targeting snapper and gummies. One of the fastest fish in the ocean the thresher shark will provide a lot of fun when hooked and can launch and flip, so a bit of care is needed when they get close to the boat. Also when the shark gets close to the boat be very careful of their whip like tail as they can cause some nasty cuts and abrasions. Try dispatching the shark before it comes onboard as it will save a lot of hassles in the long run. Snapper and nannygai have been prevalent on the bottom for those fishing in hard reef areas and broken ground. Fresh barracouta has been the standout bait when they are available. Along with fresh couta there are also a plenty of arrow squid along the coast, which make some awesome fresh bait too, so hanging a squid jig over the side is well worth a try.
Estuary: The Hopkins has begun to fish really well especially on the rock walls with hard baits such as crab and local river shells. Casting these unweighted in close is the way to go, as you’re typically only fishing in a metre or less of water. If casting lures is your preferred option, then Cranka crabs or Ecogear Pink Grubs unweighted are definitely a staple diet for summertime breaming on the Hopkins. Gulp Crabbys are also a brilliant plastic this time of year to get those fixated bream eating plastics and lures. Using a hidden weight jighead cast way back into the rock walls will get you connected to plenty of bream. The warm weather has stirred a few big perch up in the top of the system and even the Curdies River above the boggy creek boat ramp. Topwater lures are the preferred artificial bait to use and live minnow if you like using natural baits. Nelson is very hit and miss at the moment, but with so much boat traffic on the water it’s not surprising really. This is especially the case with mulloway which are already a very spooky fish without the noise of boat traffic. There has been some nice fish caught down the front of the system on live mullet by those in the putters (inboard engine boats). Hopefully we see some more great captures soon coming into February once the holiday makers make it back to their home base.
Freshwater: John “Tack” Hewett had a great day over at Lake Purrumbete earlier in the week on the Redfin. Using live minnow fished into the schools on his Garmin fish finder he was able to land approximately 80 fish in an action packed session. The Merri River closer to home is clear which should be a good time to chase some XOS EPs in the fish hotels upstream from the Cassidy’s bridge in the late afternoons. This time there are also some great bream fishing to be had in the same stretch of water right up to the weir at Bromfield Street. The trout in the Merri this time of year are very hard to fool due to the relatively warm water and cleaner water. If you’re looking at targeting a trout then try up around the Woodford area casting smaller hard bodies such as Ecogear Mx48’s or Smith Panish’s.
Until next week tight lines and best of luck.